The set isn’t complete, but you can see the ominous contents on the box, including lots of beds for our swimsuit-attired figurines to get amorous on. In yet another catastrophic bungle, Mego produced a series of Love Boat “action figures” in 1981, as well as the original version of the playset seen here. When Mego went belly up, Multi-Toys distributed the magnificent absurdity.
Archive for the '’70s Movies/TV' Category
Highlights from the week of October 28 through November 3, 1978, via Garage Sale Finds, where you can see a lot more.
Kiss Meets the Phantom is actually Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park, and it’s one of the more notorious TV productions of the 1970s. Produced by Hanna-Barbera, it plays like a demented, less well-acted, live action Scooby-Doo episode with a hard rocking soundtrack, and for all those reasons is a must watch. A slightly different, slightly more coherent version titled Attack of the Phantoms was released in theaters outside the U.S. in 1979, and you can watch it (as of now) here. Incidentally, if there’s a place to put your “Get Your High School Diploma” ad, it’s underneath a Kiss promo.
I talk about Devil Dog: Hound of Hell here. Stranger in Our House is a fun chiller directed by Wes Craven about a satanic, teenage witch who infiltrates and terrorizes a suburban family, with Linda Blair playing the good girl. (1981’s Midnight Offerings was another TV movie with the same theme). Both films aired on Halloween night.
Above: The Exorcist opens at the Paramount Theatre in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1974. “Proof of age required”! The Paramount opened in 1964 and closed in 1990. According to Cinema Treasures, “no trace remains” except for this lone photograph.
Below: The Exorcist opens at the National Theatre in Westwood, California. The film received a limited release on December 26, 1973, and the National was one of the 26 participating theaters. The landmark was demolished in 2008, displaced by luxury apartments.
You can see more Exorcist marquees here, as well as video footage of audience reactions at the National and elsewhere.
The best part of the eco-sci-fi drama Silent Running (1972) is watching Bruce Dern’s character, adrift and alone in space, interact with the three service drones he programs to do various tasks, one of which is playing poker. Years ago Greg at Lefty Limbo found some “dinky” papercraft models of the robots (Huey, Dewey, and Louie) and decided to make one of them—enlarged to life-sized proportions. The impressive end result, minus some hydraulic hoses, is above, but you should read the whole story and check out all the work he put into the project here.
Every genre movie of the ’70s starring Doug McClure (The Land That Time Forgot, The People That Time Forgot) is a classic, including this one. If you don’t believe me, read Kindertrauma’s glowing review. Unkle Lancifer calls it “the main inspiration and catalyst for this site (and perhaps my love of horror)!” As of now, you can watch it here.
Satan’s Triangle is the first movie based on and explicitly referencing the Bermuda Triangle, following Charles Berlitz’s lurid 1974 bestseller on the subject. Another TV movie, Beyond the Bermuda Triangle, starring Fred MacMurray and Donna Mills, would follow later that year.
The Bermuda Depths (1978) is another popular TV movie on the same theme (thanks for the reminder, Christopher S.).
(Image via eBay)
As far as I can tell, none of the cuts on the album made it onto the show, at least not in the version heard here. That’s why it’s billed as “music themes from and inspired by the series,” I guess, instead of a proper soundtrack. Lauren Rinder and W. Michael Lewis were prominently associated with the disco scene, which is obvious upon first listen. Even the instantly recognizable main theme is much more upbeat and funky than what you remember.
Very little of the spooky incidental music is here, unfortunately, although it’s a fun listen throughout, and an interesting fringe relic (filed under both the Disco and Occult/Supernatural categories!). According to Nimoy, Rinder and Lewis “added their unique talents to the mysteries we were exploring,” and they are credited with all music used on the first season. Good enough.
One of the great sci-fi miniatures from a show I did not miss. Interesting that Space Academy is reported in the blurb to be the most expensive show “in Saturday morning history” at $150,000 an episode. The young cadets in space theme was originally pitched by Filmation as the premise for Star Trek: The Animated Series. Rodenberry rejected it, and Scheimer and Prescott went ahead and created a new show.
Chuck Comisky was visual effects supervisor, and John Frazier, who won an Academy Award in 2005 for his work on Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2, was special effects supervisor.
Space Academy spun-off as Jason of Star Command in 1978.
(Image via Nostalgic Collections/eBay)
From The Ledger in Lakeland, Florida. How did we ever have time to leave the house?
Land of the Lost (NBC) is up against Valley of the Dinosaurs (CBS), an animated series with a very similar premise. This is the day both shows premiered. It was the debut of the new Saturday season, actually: The New Adventures of Gilligan, Partridge Family 2200 A.D., Devlin, and Korg: 70,000 B.C., another prehistoric-themed adventure (listed as `Kong – 70,000 B.C.’ in the listing), were also new.